What Is Hot Application Roofing

What Is Hot Application Roofing

If you’re in the market for a new roof, you may have heard of hot application roofing. But what exactly is it?

Hot application roofing, also known as built-up roofing (BUR), is a common type of flat or low-slope roof that involves layering multiple materials and using hot asphalt to bond them together.

Hot application roofing has been around for over 100 years and was popularized in the early 20th century as an affordable and durable option for commercial buildings.

Today, it’s still widely used on both commercial and residential roofs due to its longevity, weather resistance, and fire retardant properties.

Keep reading to learn more about hot application roofing and whether it’s the right choice for your home or business.

Key Takeaways

  • Hot application roofing, also known as built-up roofing (BUR), involves layering multiple materials with hot asphalt to create a waterproof seal that is weather-resistant and fire-retardant.
  • Modified bitumen is often used to improve flexibility and durability, and multiple layers with gravel can be added for extra protection.
  • While hot application roofing is cost-effective compared to PVC or TPO membranes, it requires specialized equipment and labor, and regular inspections and repairs are necessary to prevent leaks.
  • Safety considerations include appropriate PPE, ignition sources, and ventilation, and environmental concerns include the use of petroleum-based asphalt and waste disposal. Hiring an experienced professional is recommended, and it’s important to consider all aspects of construction for protecting the planet.

History and Background of Hot Application Roofing

So, you’re probably wondering how hot application roofing came to be a popular method – well, let’s take a trip back in time and explore its history and background.

Hot application roofing, also known as built-up roofing or BUR, has been around for over 100 years. It was first used in the United States in the late 1800s as an alternative to traditional metal roofing.

At that time, many industrial buildings were being constructed using steel frames and flat roofs. The problem with these roofs was that they leaked and required constant maintenance.

To solve this issue, builders began experimenting with different types of waterproofing materials such as asphalt and tar paper. Eventually, they discovered that by layering these materials together with gravel or crushed stone, they could create a durable and long-lasting roof system. This process became known as hot application roofing because the layers were bonded together using heat from a kettle or other heating device.

The popularity of hot application roofing grew throughout the early 1900s as more commercial buildings began to use this method of construction. By the 1920s, it had become one of the most commonly used types of flat roof systems in the United States. It wasn’t until later on that modified bitumen and single-ply membrane systems gained popularity.

Despite new advancements in technology and materials, hot application roofing remains a popular choice for many building owners today due to its durability and resistance to extreme weather conditions. It is also a cost-effective option when compared to other types of flat roof systems like PVC or TPO membranes.

Overall, hot application roofing has come a long way since its early days but continues to be an important part of modern-day construction practices.

Materials Used in Hot Application Roofing

When it comes to hot application roofing, there are several materials used in the process. First and foremost, asphalt and bitumen are the primary components for creating a waterproof seal on your roof. However, there are also other materials and additives that can be used to enhance the durability of your roof.

So, whether you’re repairing or replacing your roof, understanding the various materials involved can help you make an informed decision about what’s best for your specific needs.

Asphalt and Bitumen

You’ll love the strong, durable protection that asphalt and bitumen provide for your hot application roofing needs. These materials are commonly used in built-up roofing systems and are known for their ability to withstand harsh weather conditions.

Asphalt and bitumen both come from crude oil, but they have slightly different properties that make them useful for different applications. One of the benefits of using asphalt in hot application roofing is its flexibility. This material can expand or contract with changes in temperature without cracking or breaking.

Bitumen, on the other hand, is more rigid and better suited for waterproofing applications. When combined with reinforcing fabrics like fiberglass or polyester, these materials create a tough barrier against moisture and UV rays.

So if you’re looking for a reliable roofing system that can stand up to the elements, consider using asphalt and bitumen in your next project.

Other Materials and Additives

If you’re searching for alternatives to asphalt and bitumen, there are a variety of other materials and additives that can enhance the performance of your roofing system. One popular option is modified bitumen, which combines traditional asphalt with rubber or plastic polymers to improve flexibility and durability. This material can be applied using hot or cold methods, depending on the specific product, and typically comes in rolls that are easy to install.

Another alternative is built-up roofing (BUR), which uses multiple layers of asphalt or tar paper coated with a layer of gravel for added protection against UV rays and weather damage. BUR has been used for over a century and is known for its long-lasting performance. However, it does require more maintenance than some other options due to the need for regular inspections and repairs to prevent leaks from developing between layers.

Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your specific needs and budget as well as the climate conditions in your area.

Equipment and Tools Needed for Hot Application Roofing

Now that you know what hot application roofing is, let’s talk about the equipment and tools you’ll need to get started.

You’ll need kettles and tanks to heat up the roofing material, as well as mops and sprayers to apply it evenly.

With these key pieces of equipment, you’ll be able to tackle any hot application roofing job with ease.

Kettles and Tanks

When using hot application roofing, it’s common to rely on kettles and tanks for heating and storing the materials. Kettles are typically used to heat the asphalt or other roofing material to the appropriate temperature for application. These kettles come in various sizes, ranging from small handheld units to larger trailer-mounted options.

Tanks are also essential in hot application roofing as they store the heated material ready for application. They can range from small containers that fit onto a truck bed to large stationary tanks on job sites. It’s important to ensure that these tanks are well-maintained and equipped with proper heating elements and temperature controls to ensure efficient use of materials during the roofing process.

KettleUsed for heating asphalt or other roofing materials for application. Comes in various sizes.Heating material, regulating temperature before applyingPortable, flexible in size
TankUsed for storing heated material ready for application. Can range from small containers to larger stationary tanks.Storing material before applyingEfficient use of materials, reduces downtime

Mops and Sprayers

You can make your job easier by using mops and sprayers for applying roofing materials. Mops are commonly used for hot asphalt application, while sprayers are more suitable for cold application methods. Here are some benefits of using these tools:

  • Mops allow for better control and precision when applying hot asphalt, as they can be maneuvered easily around corners and edges.
  • Sprayers are ideal for larger surface areas, as they offer a quick and efficient way to apply cold coatings without the need for manual labor.
  • Both mops and sprayers reduce the risk of injury or accidents on the job site, as they eliminate the need for workers to carry heavy buckets of material up ladders.

Investing in quality mops and sprayers is a wise choice for any roofing contractor looking to improve their efficiency and safety on the job site. By utilizing these tools, you can save time and money while also delivering high-quality results to your clients.

Benefits of Hot Application Roofing

If you’re looking for a long-lasting and durable roofing solution, hot application roofing might be just what you need. This method uses asphalt and a propane torch to create a seamless bond between roof layers. The result is a waterproof and weather-resistant surface that can last for decades with proper maintenance. Here are some of the benefits of hot application roofing:

DurabilityHot application roofing creates a strong seal that can withstand harsh weather conditions such as high winds, heavy rains, and snowstorms. It’s also resistant to punctures caused by falling debris such as tree branches or hailstones.
Energy EfficiencyThe asphalt used in hot application roofing has insulating properties that can help reduce heating and cooling costs throughout the year. It reflects sunlight during summer days, keeping your home cooler, while retaining heat during winter nights.
Low Maintenance CostsMaintenance costs associated with hot application roofing are relatively low compared to other types of roofs like metal or tile roofs. Repairs usually involve applying more asphalt to patch up any cracks or damage caused by extreme weather conditions.

Another benefit of hot application roofing is its ability to conform to different roof shapes and sizes seamlessly. Unlike traditional shingles or tiles, which may require cutting or trimming to fit around edges and corners, the flexibility of this method allows it to adapt easily without compromising its durability.

If you want a reliable and long-lasting solution for your commercial or residential property’s roof, consider using hot application roofing. Its cost-effectiveness over time makes it an excellent investment in your property’s value while providing energy-efficient insulation from the elements all year round!

Hot Application Roofing Process

Utilizing this technique involves heating asphalt with a torch to create a seamless and durable seal between layers of the roof. The process begins by cleaning the surface of the existing roof to ensure that there aren’t any debris or dirt that might affect the adherence of the new layer.

Afterward, a base sheet is attached to the surface using mechanical fasteners or hot asphalt. Once the base sheet is in place, an interply adhesive is applied and another layer of roofing material is installed. The roofing contractor repeats this process until they reach their desired thickness for the roof.

Lastly, a cap sheet is placed on top and secured with hot asphalt. The use of hot application roofing can provide several benefits such as improved durability and flexibility. This type of roofing also reduces the risk of leaks since it creates a seamless membrane over your entire roof area.

Moreover, this method has been proven to be highly effective in protecting against extreme weather conditions such as hailstorms, heavy rains, and snowfall. Overall, hot application roofing requires specialized equipment and experienced contractors to get done correctly.

However, it provides long-lasting protection against various weather elements while also improving energy efficiency by reflecting sunlight away from your home’s interior surfaces.

Maintenance and Repair of Hot Application Roofing

Maintaining and repairing hot application roofing requires specialized skills and equipment, but it can ensure long-lasting protection against various weather elements. This type of roof is made up of layers of asphalt and felt, which are heated using a propane torch and then melted together to create a waterproof seal. The top layer is usually covered with gravel or some other type of material to protect it from the sun’s UV rays.

To maintain a hot application roof, regular inspections should be conducted to check for any signs of damage or wear. Any cracks or tears in the surface should be repaired as soon as possible to prevent water from seeping into the underlying layers. It’s also important to keep the surface clean and free from debris that could cause damage over time.

When repairs are needed, they should be done by professionals who have experience working with this type of roof. They’ll have the necessary tools and knowledge to properly repair any damage without causing further problems. If you notice any issues with your hot application roof, don’t hesitate to contact a professional roofer right away.

In addition to regular maintenance and repairs, you can extend the life of your hot application roof by taking steps to reduce its exposure to harsh weather conditions. For example, installing insulation can help regulate temperature fluctuations that can cause expansion and contraction in the roofing materials. You may also want to consider adding reflective coatings or other products that can help reflect sunlight away from the surface, reducing heat buildup on hot days.

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your hot application roofing provides reliable protection for years to come.

Cost Considerations for Hot Application Roofing

Don’t let cost be the deciding factor when it comes to protecting your home or business from the elements with a durable and long-lasting asphalt and felt roof. While hot application roofing may seem like an expensive option, it’s important to consider the long-term benefits and potential savings in maintenance costs.

Hot application roofing is a popular choice for commercial buildings due to its durability and resistance to wear and tear. When considering the cost of hot application roofing, it’s important to take into account several factors such as the size of the roof, materials used, installation costs, and any necessary repairs or maintenance. The initial cost may be higher than other roofing options, but it can save you money in the long run due to its longevity.

Additionally, many contractors offer financing options, which can help make hot application roofing more affordable. Another consideration when calculating cost is energy efficiency. Hot application roofs have been shown to reduce heating and cooling costs, which can lead to significant savings over time.

By reducing energy consumption, you’re not only saving money but also helping the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. Overall, while hot application roofing may come at a higher upfront cost than other options, it has many advantages that make it worth considering for both residential and commercial properties.

It offers durability, longevity, energy efficiency, and potential savings in maintenance costs over time. So don’t let the initial cost deter you from choosing this high-quality option for your home or business’s protection against weather damage.

Hot Application Roofing vs. Other Roofing Methods

When it comes to roofing methods, you may be wondering how hot application roofing stacks up against the competition. There are pros and cons to consider. For example, the durability and longevity of the roof versus the potential for higher installation costs. It’s important to compare both costs and benefits before making a decision on which method is best for your building.

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Pros and Cons

One advantage of hot application roofing is that it creates a seamless and waterproof surface. This means there are no gaps or cracks for water to seep through, making it an excellent choice for flat roofs. It also prevents leaks and extends the life of your roof. Additionally, hot application roofing is very durable and can withstand harsh weather conditions like heavy rain and strong winds.

However, a potential drawback of hot application roofing is the high installation cost. The process requires specialized equipment and skilled laborers, which can drive up the price compared to other roofing methods. It can also be time-consuming to install because each layer needs to be heated separately before being applied. Finally, if not installed correctly, air pockets may form under the layers leading to problems in the future.

Comparing Costs and Benefits

Comparing the costs and benefits of hot application roofing is essential before making any investment. This roofing method offers several advantages, such as high durability and weather resistance. Additionally, it can help reduce energy consumption by reflecting sunlight and reducing heat absorption.

Hot application roofing may be more expensive than other traditional methods initially, but it can save you money in the long run due to its longevity and low maintenance requirements. Moreover, this type of roofing can increase your property value and enhance your building’s appearance.

Overall, when weighing costs versus benefits, hot application roofing proves to be a wise investment for a long-lasting roof that protects your property from natural elements while minimizing energy consumption.

Safety Considerations for Hot Application Roofing

You need to be aware of the potential hazards when working with hot materials during hot application roofing, such as the risk of burns and fire. Here are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Make sure you wear appropriate PPE, including gloves, long sleeves, pants, eye protection, and a respirator if required.
  • Gloves: Wear heat-resistant gloves to protect your hands from burns.
  • Eye Protection: Wear safety glasses or goggles to prevent any molten material from splattering into your eyes.
  • Respirator: Wear a respirator if fumes or vapors are present.

Fire Prevention:

Hot application roofing involves the use of open flames and hot materials that can easily cause fires. To prevent fires:

  • Control Ignition Sources: Keep flammable materials away from where you’re working.
  • Have a Fire Extinguisher Ready: Make sure you have a fire extinguisher nearby in case of an emergency.

Proper Ventilation:

Fumes generated during hot application roofing can be harmful if they build up in poorly ventilated areas. To ensure proper ventilation:

  • Choose Work Areas Wisely: Always work in well-ventilated areas.
  • Use Exhaust Fans or Natural Airflow Sources

By following these safety considerations for hot application roofing, you can minimize potential hazards and stay safe while on the job. Remember to always prioritize safety above all else!

Environmental Impact of Hot Application Roofing

Now that you know about the safety considerations for hot application roofing, it’s time to learn about its environmental impact.

Hot application roofing is a popular method of installing roofs because it is quick and efficient. However, the materials used in this process can have negative effects on the environment.

One of the main concerns with hot application roofing is its use of asphalt. Asphalt is a petroleum-based product, which means that it contributes to our dependency on fossil fuels. Additionally, when asphalt is produced, it emits greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. These emissions contribute to climate change and can harm both human health and the environment.

Another environmental concern with hot application roofing is waste disposal. The materials used in this process often cannot be recycled or reused, which means that they end up in landfills where they take years to decompose. This creates an additional burden on our already overflowing landfills.

Despite these concerns, there are ways to minimize the environmental impact of hot application roofing. For example, some companies offer eco-friendly alternatives such as cool roofs or green roofs that use sustainable materials like recycled rubber or plants instead of asphalt.

While hot application roofing may be convenient for building owners and contractors alike due to its speed and efficiency, it poses significant risks to our environment. As we continue to search for ways to build sustainably and reduce our carbon footprint, it’s important that we consider all aspects of construction – including how we install roofs – so that we can protect our planet for future generations.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting in Hot Application Roofing

If you’re experiencing problems with your hot-applied roof, don’t worry – troubleshooting common issues is easier than you might think. In fact, many of the most common issues can be easily identified and resolved by simply examining the surface of your roof. One common issue is blistering, which occurs when air or moisture becomes trapped between layers of roofing material. To fix this issue, simply cut a small slit into the blister and allow it to dry out before applying a new layer of roofing material.

Another common problem with hot-application roofing is cracking, which often results from exposure to extreme temperature changes or harsh weather conditions. If you notice cracks in your roof’s surface, it’s important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage. To repair cracks in hot-applied roofing materials, begin by cleaning and preparing the damaged area before applying a sealant or adhesive that is specifically designed for use on roofing surfaces.

Leaks are also a major concern when it comes to hot-application roofs. If you notice water stains or evidence of moisture inside your home, it’s likely that there is a leak somewhere in your roof’s surface. To locate and fix leaks in hot-applied roofs, start by inspecting all seams and joints for signs of damage or wear-and-tear. Once you’ve located the source of the leak, apply an appropriate sealant or patching compound to prevent further water damage.

One additional issue that may arise with hot-application roofing is improper installation. This can lead to a wide range of problems including leaks, poor insulation performance and even structural damage over time if left unchecked. To ensure that your roof has been installed correctly from the outset, consider hiring an experienced professional who specializes in working with hot-applied roofing systems.

Common IssueTroubleshooting Tips
BlisteringCut a small slit into blister and dry out before reapplying new layer
CrackingClean and prepare damaged area before applying sealant or adhesive
LeaksInspect all seams and joints for damage or wear-and-tear, apply appropriate sealant or patching compound
Improper InstallationHire experienced professional to ensure proper installation from outset

In conclusion, if you’re experiencing issues with your hot-application roof, there are a variety of common problems that may be easily addressed through basic troubleshooting techniques. By examining the surface of your roof and identifying any signs of blistering, cracking or leaks, you can take proactive measures to prevent further damage and extend the lifespan of your roofing system. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your roof has been properly installed by an experienced professional in order to avoid structural issues over time. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-equipped to maintain a strong and reliable hot-applied roofing system for years to come.

Choosing a Hot Application Roofing Contractor

When choosing a hot application roofing contractor, there are three key points to consider.

First, you should look at their experience and reputation within the industry.

Second, make sure they have the necessary licensing and insurance to protect both themselves and your property.

Finally, ask for references and portfolio examples to get a better sense of their past work and client satisfaction.

By taking these steps, you can ensure that you hire a qualified contractor who’ll do quality work on your roof.

Experience and Reputation

You’ll want to check out our hot application roofing services as our team has years of experience and a stellar reputation in the industry.

Our contractors have been working with hot application roofing for many years, giving them the knowledge and expertise needed to handle any project.

From repairs to installations, we can provide quality work that will last for years to come.

Experience is key when it comes to hot application roofing, as it requires specialized training and equipment.

Our team has worked on a variety of projects, from small residential jobs to large commercial buildings, ensuring that we are equipped to handle any challenge that comes our way.

Plus, with a reputation for excellence in the industry, you can trust us to deliver top-notch service every time.

So if you’re looking for a reliable hot application roofing contractor, look no further than our experienced and reputable team.

Licensing and Insurance

Now that you know the importance of considering a roofing contractor’s experience and reputation, it’s time to talk about licensing and insurance.

Hiring a licensed and insured hot application roofing contractor can give you peace of mind knowing that your property is protected in case of accidents or damages during the project. A licensed contractor has undergone proper training and certification, ensuring that they are knowledgeable about the industry’s best practices.

On the other hand, having insurance means that any damages or injuries incurred during the project will be covered, preventing you from shouldering costly expenses. So before hiring a hot application roofing contractor, make sure to ask for their license and proof of insurance.

References and Portfolio

To gauge the quality of work a potential roofing contractor can provide, take a look at their portfolio and references. This will give you a sense of what type of projects they’ve worked on in the past, as well as how satisfied their previous clients were with their work. Here are some tips on what to look for:

  • Look for a variety of projects in the portfolio, including different types of roofs and materials.
  • Pay attention to the level of detail in the photos – are all angles and areas represented?

Contact the references provided and ask about their experience working with the contractor.

Check online reviews from other customers who have used their services.

By taking these steps, you can feel confident that you’re hiring a reputable and skilled roofing contractor who’ll deliver high-quality results. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request additional information if you need it – after all, this is an investment in your property’s future!

Remember that finding the right roofing contractor is key to ensuring your roof lasts for years to come. By checking out their references and portfolio, you’ll get a good sense of what they’re capable of before committing to any work. Take your time and do your research – it’s worth it in the end!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does hot application roofing typically last?

Hot application roofing can typically last up to 20-25 years, depending on factors such as climate and maintenance. Regular inspections and repairs can extend the lifespan of your roof.

Can hot application roofing be installed on all types of roofs?

Yes, hot application roofing can be installed on all types of roofs. It is a versatile method that involves heating asphalt and applying it to the roof surface. This creates a seamless, durable layer of protection.

Is hot application roofing more expensive than other roofing methods?

Hot application roofing can be more expensive than other methods due to the cost of materials and labor. However, it offers a durable and long-lasting solution for flat or low-sloping roofs, making it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

What type of maintenance is required for hot application roofing?

To maintain hot application roofing, you should inspect it regularly for any signs of damage or wear. Keep the surface clean and clear of debris, and address any issues promptly to prevent further damage.

Are there any special safety precautions that need to be taken during the installation process?

During the installation process of hot application roofing, it is important to wear protective gear such as gloves and goggles. Be aware of hot tar and fumes, and ensure proper ventilation. Follow safety guidelines to prevent accidents.


So now you know all about hot application roofing! You’ve learned about the history and materials used in this process, as well as the benefits and safety considerations to keep in mind.

When it comes time to choose a contractor for your roofing needs, make sure to ask about their experience with hot application roofing and any certifications they may have.

Remember that while hot application roofing can be a great option for certain projects, it’s not always the best choice. Be sure to consider factors such as budget, climate, and environmental impact when deciding on a roofing material or method.

With these things in mind, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that will keep your home or business protected for years to come.